The 27-year-old is coming off a solid 40 point season for the Carolina Hurricanes. Micheal Ferland suited up for 71 games, recording 17 goals and 18 primary assists, while compiling 156 shots on goal. The left winger got placed up all over the lineup by Coach Rod Brind’Amour but spent most of the season with Sebastian Aho and Teuvo Teräväinen.
As expected that line performed very well combing for 20 goals, outpacing their xGF of 16.7. The trio also controlled a bulk of the puck possession with a 56.6% CF at 5v5, per Corsica.Hockey. The coaching staff of Carolina obviously felt he had enough skill to tag along with the two talented forwards, with the numbers exhibiting this fact.
Ferland has the skill to keep up with high-caliber players but also the tenacity, skate speed, and puck sense to play more of a defensive role. When aligned with less talent and less favorable zone starts his lines consistently came out with a positive CF% at 5v5. His ability to stay afloat when given defensive responsibilities could be very useful for the Sharks who love to prioritize match-ups.
However the underlying numbers suggest that the 5-year-pro’s abilities are best utilized along some high-end offensive talent. That makes him the perfect candidate for the 3rd line left-wing slot next to Joe Thornton and Kevin Labanc (assuming they both resign). He’s skilled enough to convert on the inevitable scoring chances set up by Jumbo, while also being able to make space in front of the net to help boost the potency of Labanc’s shot.
Following the San Jose Sharks third round exit Coach Pete DeBoer noted that he thought the team needed more physicality. Team Teal was severely “outhit” on the stat sheet against the Blues and struggled to generate offense against their unrelenting forecheckers.
Not only did St Louis dominate in open ice, they controlled the dangerous areas as well. The big bodied defenseman of the Blues boxed out the Sharks traditionally potent offensive inside presence. Team Teal most likely would have benefited from another option inside to help generate space for shots to filter through the carnage in front of Binnington.
The depth skaters for San Jose are more known for their grit and tenacity than their physical stature. However outside of Joe Thornton the bottom six got pushed around a bit during the Western Conference Finals and failed to contribute offensively when the Sharks needed them to.
If the Sharks are looking to overpower their opponents while still maintaining their usual level of precision and skill, taking a shot at Micheal Ferland would make sense for General Manager Doug Wilson. Using EvolvingWild’s contract projection tool we can see that Ferland comes at an estimated 4 x 4.2 AAV. This figure isn’t definitive but should give us an idea of what the price point could be. Team Teal should take a strong look at the former Pacific rival if their really trying to take what their coach said seriously following the loss in Game 6.
Team Teal already has a fairly intimidating group of players and adding a skater like Ferland would only bolster their group of powerful forwards. Don’t be surprised if we see the San Jose Sharks consider him an option on the open market and add him to what they consider their core.